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Misleading Consumer Privacy Breach Claims

The attention of the National Communications Authority (NCA) has been
drawn to some reports on social and some mainstream media claiming a breach of privacy of
consumer information. These claims are completely false.

 


Here are the facts: In March, 2020, the NCA requested “passive mobile positioning data logs” from
Mobile Network Operators (MNOs). This allows the NCA to gather location information to assist the
Ghana Health Service to map COVID-19 hotspots by undertaking historical and current analysis of
persons potentially infected with COVID-19 for contact tracing purposes. It is “passive” and
“historical” because it is not live real-time tracking.

 

This is in accordance with the Establishment of Emergency Communications Systems Instrument,
2020 (E.I. 63). The Instrument required network operators or service providers to cooperate with the
NCA Common Platform to provide information to State agencies in the event of a public health
emergency.

 

The relevant sections of the law state as follows:


1. (1) “A network operator or service provider shall cooperate with the National Communications
Authority Common Platform to provide information to State agencies in the case of an emergency,
including a public health emergency.
1. (3) A network operator or service provider shall ensure location log files are provided to National
Communications Common Platform to facilitate location-based tracking”

 

All MNOs i.e. AirtelTigo, Glo, MTN and Vodafone, complied with the request for information which was
subsequently processed and forwarded to the Ghana Health Service for purpose as stated. There was
no objection by any Party in respect of COVID-19 contact tracing data request until an application for
injunction order was filed in the court. The court is expected to decide on the injunction application
on June 23.

 

The NCA would like to assure consumers and the general public that there has been no breach of
personal data and privacy in the compliance by MNOs or the NCA to the requirements of law